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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  March 19, 2011 5:00am-6:00am EDT

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good day to you. i'm richard quest at cnn in london. and this is cnn world report. at this hour, we are focusing on two locations where there are major developments to report. the first is in japan, where engineers at the crippled fukushima daiichi nuclear power
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plant are trying to attach electric cables to restart water pumps to cool hot nuclear fuel. japan says inspectors have found radiation in milk and spinach. that exceeds national health standards. the other major story we are following, of course, in libya. cnn journalists saw a fighter jet fall out of the sky in flames on saturday in the city of benghazi. that's the second largest city. it is the center of the opposition. they also report explosions and tank movements in the areas. the most immediate events, of course, are happening right now in libya, and they are moving fast in that rebel stronghold of benghazi. what do we know? and what do we not yet really fully appreciate of what's happening? first the explosions were heard around the time that that fighter jet was shot down. and our cnn team tells us in
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benghazi they've seen tanks and artillery rounds in several locations in and around the city. these latest events come just seven or eight hours after the libyan government told cnn it was observing u.n.-ordered cease-fire, which do not know if opposition or government forces. arwa damon is our correspondent who is in benghazi. we have much ground to cover. let's begin first of all with the current situation, the bombardment or the shelling that is taking place. is it still under way? >> as far as we are aware, richard, yes, it is still under way. gaud if i forces appear to have begun their assault on the city. we saw large plumes of dark smoke rising from that. we heard a number of explosions, we saw appeared to be several artillery rounds landing well within the city, as the center of the city itself.
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we saw a plane, one member of our crew saw that fighter jet you mentioned there, pummeling down from the sky in flames. but opposition fighter later telling us that that was, in fact, one of their aircraft. no way for us to independently confirm that information. but he did say that that was an aircraft, the opposition dispatched to try to bring about a stop to gadhafi's military machine. that now appears to be well on its way in terms of the fight of it trying to take back over benghazi from the opposition. this despite the fact that the government is lay saying, the libyan government is saying that there is no assault on benghazi at all, that these facts on the ground do appear to tell us otherwise. we also saw a gunship flying low over the city. that we believe belongs to the opposition. there's a vessel from five kilometers off the coast. one opposition fighter telling us that that vessel is firing on to the city as well, but, again,
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no way for us to independently confirm that information. of course the question on everyone's mind here is where is this international help that the u.n. resolution was supposed to bring about? there's supposed to be a no-fly zone. there's supposed to be an immediate cease-fire. in fact, the libyan government itself announced it would be imposing an immediate cease-fire yesterday. and there's supposed to be international help physically to protect the civilian population. and now we are clearly seeing the civilian population in benghazi under attack, richard. >> to be clear on this. if this is an all-out assault, or a major assault at the very least, the overwhelming disparity of forces in gadhafi's favor means the outcome is pretty certain. >> exactly, richard. the outcome is certain. as it has been certain all along. and that is exactly why the opposition was so desperate to
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see this unresolution passed. they do not have the military expertise in their favor. they do not have the aircraft. they do not have the arsenal that gadhafi has at his disposal. the opposition has taken this fight as far as they can. and this, for them, is a fight for freedom and democracy. these are demonstrations that began peacefully, they keep telling us, and then it was gadhafi's forces that turned their guns on them, foesing them, they say, to be massacred. up until that u.n. resolution passed people were telling us that they believed that a massacre at the hands of gadhafi forces was imminent, simply because they do not have the force, the military force, to be able to stand up against him. there was much exhilaration after that resolution was passed. but now, everyone is wondering, when is it going to be implemented? we were talking to a number of members of the opposition overnight yesterday, who were wondering what it was that the international community was waiting for. they were asking if the international community was
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waiting for gadhafi forces to arrive at benghazi's doorstep. and now it appears that gadhafi forces are, in fact, here, and yet we have seen no sign of international assistance at all. there is absolutely no telling how long the opposition is going to be able to hold off, fend off gadhafi's forces if that international help does not come soon. >> arwa damon, who is in benghazi. arwa, of course, we will be back with you the moment that you tell us there is more to report. so, come back as soon as there is, please. the libyan capital is tripoli, and that is where we have our senior international correspondent nic robertson. nic, we have much ground to cover, too. so let us begin. in the last hour or two, the deputy foreign minister of libya has said that the cease-fire is happening, there's no -- there's no attacks. they've grounded the aircraft. and yet arwa damon there, you heard arwa reporting what's
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happening in benghazi. can you square that circle for us? >> richard, that's a circle we keep asking the libyan government here if they can square for us, because it's very difficult, from our vantage point, as well, to make sense of the contradictory reports that we're hearing. the libyan government, for its part, puts it this way. they say that there is incorrect reports coming, that there are fabricated reports coming from, for example misratah, the town about 100 or so miles to the east of here, where they were claimed by the opposition that the city was under attack, claims we can't substantiate because the government won't allow us to go there to witness it for ourselves. so the government on the one hand says that a lot of what we're being told is not true. that these are fabricated reports. they say that they're observing the cease-fire. they say that the rebels are not. we worked late last night, late
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overnight by the deputy foreign minister to be told that the government had an example they said where they knew for a fact that the rebels, in fact, were using their weapons and attacking small town outside of benghazi. again, no way for us to substantiate that. we don't have access there. what the government is doing, and this sort of goes to the heart of the government plan to square this round hole, if you will, they say, and again, we were told this last night, that the government is appealing, again, for international monitors to come here, and specifically they're asking for those monitors to come from china, turkey, malta, and germany. and why from those countries, they say because they believe those countries are most favorable to us. of course you notice china and germany abstained from the vote on the u.n. resolution. so the government here feels that those countries would be favorable, and it says they should get here immediately because they can then go to the
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front lines and free, unfettered access unlike the journalists who we're told are not able to provide reliable reporting. richard? >> nic, just pause one second. we have video, new video in from the reuters news agency, which i need to bring to your attention. it is the video of the plane that we've been talking about this morning. that's the video of the aircraft, and we also do see there, the ejection, i believe, of one of the pilots. but we don't know any more details than that. nic robertson still with me, one trusts. nic, the dynamics of what
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gadhafi's now trying to do, trying to gain any tactical advantage in the short time, perhaps, before the international community does actually respond. how concerned are they in tripoli that the international community gets its act together and does something sooner rather than later? >> they're very concerned. they're very concerned, indeed. for a number of reasons. from the tactical advantage on the ground. they've been concerned since the beginning and it appeared to be one of the reasons why they actually launched the offensive as quickly as they launched this offensive a couple of weeks ago. i was told that the government couldn't afford to wait and see what the international community was doing. it wanted to recapture this territory from the rebels. the government has laid out their battle plans this way. they've said that they will reunite the country, that they can defeat the rebels, that this
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is an armed opposition that they have every right as a sovereign government to put down, an armed insurrection, as they see it, inside their country. they say it's incited by foreign fighters, incited by al qaeda, and they feel that they have every right to do it. their position, of course, and what they're also saying on top of that is this is a conspiracy by the international community to divide the country, and re-enter it as part of -- as sort of a colonial move, if you will, a throwback to the days before moammar gadhafi. and moammar gadhafi is using this to try and build support. and if there were any international air strikes here, or whatever action is taken, he will use that to try and build support for him, say this is an attack on the sovereignty of the country, and people here tell us, well, the tribes will come out in support of us and there will be a bloodbath because if there's tribal fighting, this will pitch people against each other, bloodlines will be broken, or rather, you know, blood feuds will be begun, this will escalate the fighting. so the government is going to
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use whatever happens to try to put it to their advantage. the one thing that the government here, and the officials we talked to, don't seem to understand about the international community's position is that it is dead set against moammar gadhafi himself, and the government. and that is -- that is a fixed position for them. that is something that's not going to change. they don't understand why the international community is going against them in this way. and that's what we hear all the time. so i can -- one can see, as the international community does organize itself to follow through on the resolution, that events are going to become much darker on the ground here, much more confused, as confusing as the reporting appears to be at this stage. i think we can anticipate that there's going to be more claims and counterclaims that are difficult to put into perspective and square the round
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hole, if you will, richard. >> nic robertson, who is in tripoli. and as i said a moment ago, at the moment you have more from where you are, please come back and we will speak to you immediately. now world leaders meeting in paris, where they are trying to work through the difficult task of coordinating efforts to enforce a no-fly zone over libya. and also, to try and put, if you like, flesh on the bones of u.n. resolution 1973, which authorized the use of force in the protection of civilian people in libya. joining me to talk about the political and military difficulties, the associate fellow at the uk's royal united services institute. the rusi. good morning to you. we have much ground to cover. let us begin. with the developments in the last few moments. you have just been listening, arwa damon says that the attack
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appears, the gadhafi attack, appears to have now begun against benghazi. >> the cease-fire was a very canny move by gadhafi because it put the ball straight back in the court of the international community. and in paris, there were divisions between say, france and britain and the gulf states who may have been more cautious. now he has given them the perfect pretext to degrade this forces. >> but did anybody believe the cease-fire? bearing in mind, no matter what the deputy foreign minister may say, almost as soon as he said it, we were hearing that it simply didn't exist. >> no. he may have made some notional moves towards paying some lip service to the cease-fire. but no, i think it's perfectly reasonable to assume he was intending to break it straightaway. >> what's happening in paris? what are they there for? what's the purpose of paris today? >> it's a couple of things. first of all, what's the design end state? does gadhafi have to go or can he be pushed back to tripoli? second, when does military action begin and how expansive is it? can those tanks on the edge of benghazi be bombed as early as today or tomorrow?
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>> okay. but if, if they're talking about does gadhafi go, what will they do? if he's already in benghazi and he does have overwhelming force compared to them, correct? >> correct, yes. >> so, it could all be moot if they don't get a move on. >> it could. although bear in mind he's not been at the gates of benghazi as we've been suggesting. there's propaganda battle on both sides. at the same time let's remember how difficult it was for benghazi to penetrate in zawiyah in the west. urban fighting is hard. there's a defensive advantage even with the inferiority in forces. so there is still time. >> so, unless he sort of basically, to put it crudely -- >> he may well do that. he's indiscriminately shelled urban areas. even so it still takes time and he will come up against grave resistance. and in that time -- >> you say grave resistance. where's this resistance? where's the arms coming from? we saw pun picture there, and we can see it again, of the plane
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being downed, arwa damon tells us is actually from the rebels, or from the opposition. >> a rebel plane, yeah. >> where does it come from? >> well, let's remember, there have been large-scale defections early on. now, admittedly, they were units defecting that gadhafi always thought would defect and therefore they were weakened. but the rebels did get some tanks. some aircraft, and certainly small arms. now they are lacking in all of those in numbers but they certainly have some. there's also every indication they're being supplied by egypt. egypt formally abstained from the resolution and said no intervention. but it will be subtly intervening at a different level. >> in paris, talk me through the politics of paris, if you like. we have condoleezza rice -- hillary clinton, forgive me, a freudian slip. we have hillary clinton arriving, secretary of state from the united states. >> yes. we have the uk, we have the french. >> the development here is the
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united states wishes to see a european face on this, and a gulf or arab hand. pushing that all together is going to be tough. because let's remember -- >> you say that. but they have got the two leaders there that are most likely to be able to do it, france and the uk. >> they have. but can you persuade the uae and qatar to play more than a notional, superficial role in all of this? western and arab militaries haven't fought together since 1991, 20 years. so it's very difficult military terms, but also diplomatic terms, to get the arab states on board with, say ground strikes early on. >> do they need more than a fig leaf from the arab states? >> i think they do. if this gets into a prolonged campaign, like kosovo, weeks and weeks and weeks, you don't want the anger, the frustration, directed straight at the americans and the british and the french. >> tell me, why france? france has the meeting's in paris, france has led the way. france has been amongst the most
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bellicos bellicose. >> sarkozy's humanitarian impulse. i think there's certainly an element to that. and britain for cameron as well. there are french elections coming up. and also they have been burned heavily by their action in tunisia, where their foreign minister offered support to president ben ali and subsequently resigned. so, we've seen element of repentance and remorse, i think, driving some french policy here. >> okay, before we finish, just briefly, what do you expect, then, from paris today? >> i think they will be pushing their allies, pulling in the united states from one side, pulling in qatar and uae from the other side and saying let's hit these ground targets early on before he can play us for many more days. >> shashank joshi, thanks. there is new unrest in the arab world. it goes beyond libya. the u.n. and the u.s. are condemning the use of force against protesters in syria. witnesses report rioting in five cities. including the capital damascus, after anti-government activists
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proclaimed friday dignity day on facebook and called for demonstrations. there are unconfirmed reports of deaths and injuries. in yemen, a state of emergency amid deadly clashes. medical officials said at least 40 people were killed when tens of thousands of anti-government protesters clashed with security forces in the capital. state television showed. and there are reports, one that 100 people hurt, interior minister says there are casualties on both sides. egyptians are heading to the polls right now for their first fully free election in decades. they'll vote on the constitutional amendments that are supposed to assist the military in the transition to democratic rule after president hosni mubarak. thousands gathered in cairo's tahrir square on friday. many said the amendments don't go far enough. cnn's world reporter richard quest in london. and in just a moment, we'll be live, going to japan.
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>> ( heartbeats ) the death toll is now almost 7,200. japanese police on saturday have raised the number of people who have been killed from the march 11th earthquake and the tsunami. the police now say 7,197 people are confirmed dead. but that really doesn't tell the full story, because almost 11,000 more are reported missing. japan also says inspectors have detected abnormal radiation levels in milk and spinach in northeastern japan. at the stricken fukushima nuclear plant japan raised the nuclear threat level to 5 on a scale of 7. engineers are trying to reconnect electricity to water pumps that cool the fuel.
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they've also brought in an automated super water pumper, and they're using it continuously to pump water for up to seven hours on volatile nuclear fuel rods. the strategy is to try to keep spraying water until they can get electricity flowing to restart the reactor's own pumps. engineers say they hope to have electricity flowing to some reactors by the end of saturday, and the rest by sunday evening. anna is following developments. she joins us now at cnn tokyo. anna, we begin on this one with the reactor itself. so we have this continuous pumping system now under way, which is -- which is, of course, they're still trying to establish full-time power. have i understood that correct? >> that is exactly right, richard. although we have heard from the government this afternoon that they have managed to stabilize reactors 1, 2 and 3, as far as water levels go.
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which is quite a surprise. but then, an official later came out and said yes, well water levels are stable, this is a very unpredictable situation. their priority has been reactor 3. that is where they've been focusing their attention, pumping all that water, using water tanks and water cannons, and this afternoon they began an operation in which they are using, as you mentioned, that super pumper. they are sucking water from the ocean, directly and continuously spraying that through a tanker which has an extendable arm some 22 meters high directly into reactor 3. and it's hoped that that will continue to cool the situation until they can get those power lines connected, which is what they've been working towards doing. you know, they need those external water sources. like those water cannons. like that super pump, to keep those reactors cool, richard. >> this is all in relation to the actual fuel rods, the spent fuel rods.
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is there still an issue, and i do understand, anna, you're not sort of a nuclear specialist, so feel free to throw this one back at me, but is there any issue with the reactors themselves, and the containment in terms of the ongoing structures? >> no, i'm not a nuclear scientist, richard. but i can tell you that they raised the alert level for japan because of damage to the core structures, to two of those reactors. so, that is what we know. as far as radioactive material, we know that the workers at the site can only be there for a limited amount of time. so there are some 300 workers. they are working in shifts to limit their exposure to radiation. and the super pumper that we mentioned just beforehand, that will be operating for some seven hours unmanned. so therefore they won't have any
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issues with staff being exposed to radiation. so, of course, it is an ongoing concern. i think you mentioned earlier in your intro that radiation levels are above normal, and there's been detected in certain food items such as spinach and milk. as far as that goes, that source was some 30 kilometers from the fukushima daiichi power plant. now before people become alarmed it is worth noting that you'd have to drink a year's worth of this milk for it to be the equivalent of having a ct scan. so people are aware. people are concerned. but until more information comes from the government, and they are working at this, they say that, you know, these reports are only preliminary. they're going to launch a thorough investigation. you know, we can't really jump to any conclusions, richard. >> and, the way from the nuclear reactor, the rest of, if you like, sendai and the cleanup
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operation, the relief operation, there are these two, if you like, completely opposite but at the same time interlinked stories, aren't they? there are still hundreds of thousands, millions of people without power, and who are still dealing with the earthquake and the tsunami's aftereffects. >> yeah, that's exactly right. this is quite sad. because this nuclear issue is sort of overshadowing what is happening to the northeast, you know, in the country. as you mentioned, some 380,000 people are homeless. you know, these are the people whose homes have been completely wiped out by the tsunami. that ten meter wave that just roared through and completely annihilated, you know, these towns, these villages, these suburbs. so a massive relief operation is under way. we understand that there are some 100,000 japanese military personnel involved in this relief operation. we had a red cross official come
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in to the bureau a little while ago and he was talking about this experience. they have done a number of food drops, and also of medical supplies. you know there's basic necessities. they're in desperate need of food, water, clothing. these people left with just the clothes on their backs. so they're in desperate need of basic, you know, necessities. but he said he went to hell and back and, you know, he's a fortunate one. but what he witnessed was just horrific. so, we cannot forget that this is unfolding, as you say, more than 10,000 people are still missing. the death toll is well over 7,000. but officials say, richard, that that could well and truly rise. >> anna coren who is in tokyo this evening for us. now, the chief of the international atomic energy agency says japan is doing the right thing in deciding how much area around the plant needs to be evacuated. the 20 kilometer radius, he says, the zone has been ordered by tokyo corresponds to iaea
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standards for that level of a nuclear crisis. it's now a level 3. he also made it clear japan is not dealing with another chernobyl. >> at the moment the nuclear radioactivity was dangerous, harmful for human health. the other cities like in tokyo, it is not that case. >> when we return in just a moment, we will continue our coverage. whether it's japan or with libya. it's easier than you think, because general mills big g line of cereals is america's number one source of whole grain at breakfast. there's whole grain in every box... ♪ ...from chex... to cheerios... to lucky charms. so you can get the whole grain you want with the taste you love. get started on the whole grain you're missing with your favorite big g cereals. make sure to look for the white check.
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good day to you, i'm richard quest at cnn in london. this is world report, and it is a busy morning, afternoon, depending on where you are in the world. but our two stories that we are following closely as we cover the breaking news here at cnn on fast-moving developments in libya, and, of course, updating you with japan. cnn journalists saw a fighter jet fall out of the sky in flames on saturday in the city of benghazi, which is libya's second largest is and the center of the opposition. they also report explosions and tank movements in the area. these latest events come just seven or eight hours after the libyan government told cnn it was observing a u.n.-ordered cease-fire. we do not know if the opposition or government forces own either
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the tanks or the downed plane. but as our arwa damon told us a short while ago it's believed that the plane was being used by the opposition forces. arwa is now on the line from benghazi. good afternoon, arwa. the situation, please? >> well, it does seem as if the beginnings of the fight for benghazi are definitely well under way. a short while ago we heard a sustained barrage of artillery fire. there's a steady stream of vehicles leaving benghazi. people trying to get as far away from the fighting as they possibly can, seeking safety, firmly believing that gadhafi forces, if they do find them, are going to massacre them. i just spoke with a car full of people who are fleeing. three women and a man. and they had one question, they looked at us and they said, what is this? we are at the mercy of a man who is a lunatic, he is insane, he's
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going to kill all of us, where is the no-fly zone? where is france? where are all of these international countries that pledged to protect us? one of the young women in the carteling us that they actually live in the southern part of the city, remembering that gadhafi's forces are trying to breach benghazi from the southern part of the city. she said that the building they lived in came under small arms fire. she believes from gadhafi's military elements. and that is when that family decided to flee. richard, these are, of course, very disturbing, disturbing developments. benghazi is the stronghold, the opposition stronghold that is the seat of its interim government. it is really the heart of where this uprising against gadhafi began, richard. >> so, as best you can, describe for us where these forces, or where the attack is coming from
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in relation to, if you like, the city itself. >> well, the attack appears to be coming in from the southern portion of the city. that is where members of our team saw gadhafi's tanks rolling in. they also saw firing into the city. it is also where we saw and now we are hearing that additional mortar rounds, artillery rounds, are landing on that area. it is also where we had advanced, we were able to see large plumes of dark smoke on the outskirts, the southern outskirts of the city. a number of opposition fighters we're talking to also saying that that appears to be where gadhafi's forces are trying to breach. the southern portion of the city is right on the road that would lead from ajdabiya where gadhafi forces were fighting in the last 24 hours towards benghazi. and that is where all along it was believed that they would try to begin their breach of
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benghazi. many of the opposition fighters here are telling us that it appears as if gadhafi has mocked the international community, daring them to take action against him on the one hand. we hear from the libyan government that there is no assault, no attack on benghazi. yet what we saw for ourselves, what we're hearing from witnesses that we have been talking to is, of course, painting an entirely different picture. people very fearful that if this international help does not come immediately, it is simply going to be a bloodbath, richard. >> arwa damon, who is in benghazi. we go straight to tripoli, where our senior international correspondent nic robertson joins me. you just heard arwa say there that people in benghazi saying that effectively, gadhafi is mocking the international community as it -- i suppose
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putting it crudely and bluntly, they're talking in paris while they're shelling in benghazi. >> and i think certainly, if the situation is viewed from paris right now, it must be viewed or will likely be viewed with some trepidation. what -- what the international community and the u.n. resolution calls for is for an air intervention to protect the civilian population, and to enforce a no-fly zone. the opposition have put a jet fighter up over benghazi today. it's not clear who shot it down. did the opposition shoot it down themselves? or was it forces loyal to gadhafi's government here shooting it down? but it will be for heads of government, or foreign ministers of government, considering how to enforce its no-fly zone, a
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reminder that certainly the air defenses in libya, and the anti-aircraft types of weapons, be them heavy anti-aircraft guns or surface-to-air missiles, are aplenty in the country. again, it's not clear who shot down the opposition fighter jet. was it mistakenly shot down by them? or was it shot down by government forces? show that the stakes here in libya, that they are high for the international community. that fighter jet pilot bailing out over benghazi. could that be in 8 or 24 hour's time a british pilot bailing out? could it be a french pilot? these will be the concerns obviously of government officials as they meet in paris, because libya clearly has sufficient weapons pointed in the sky that can hit aircraft, that present a danger right now to any nato or international forces that would come and enforce the u.n. resolution. so, i think the situation on the ground today is going to
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eliminate for the international community some of the dangers that they are facing here. not only that, but the claims and the counterclaims of who is responsible for what. the libyan government here, of course, again telling us that they're calling for international monitors to come here, china, turkey, germany, and malta are the nations they want represented. but they say the door is open to anyone to come and see. even from observers such as ourselves and arwa damon. arwa who is very close to the situation there, we here who are hearing the political rhetoric, as you said before this morning, it's very hard to square this round hole that we're looking at right now. and for international monitors, again, will be a very, very tough position, richard. >> nic, briefly, the -- anybody looking at this from outside, might be tempted to say, unless the international community gets
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its act together, then u.n. resolution 1973 borders on moot in terms of the -- the opposition will have been put down before they even get theirselves started. >> well, there are some people that could even go one step further and say that the threatening moammar gadhafi with the imposition of a potential no-fly zone and sanctions over the past three weeks, never mind the final passing of the resolution, has stiffened his resolve to impose facts on the ground before the international community can get its act together. my impression from talking to government officials over the past three weeks, since we've been here, is that the threat of no-fly zone has accelerated their military effort, because i was told that they couldn't stand back and wait and see what was happening, what was going to happen. what decision the international community was going to take.
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certainly all the reports that we're getting, that the libyan army is on the outskirts of benghazi, if all of those appear to be as true as they appear to be in the reports, and certainly arwa's eyewitnessing accounts, then it's going to make it look as if not only was there talk of the resolution accelerating the government's hands here but the actual passing of the resolution have accelerated their hand further on the ground. it almost goes beyond being moot. it almost goes to the point some analysts might conclude that it's actually accelerated events on the ground here, richard. >> nic robertson, who is in tripoli for us today. nic, we'll be back with you very shortly. we'll take a momentary break, as we regather and come back and tell you what's been happening in japan, of course, as they to indeal with the stricken reactor. more on that and libya around the world. they're made from whole roasted nuts
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as we continue our coverage of the events in libya, world leaders are meeting in paris to try to work through the difficult task of coordinating efforts to enforce that no-fly zone over libya, and to set, if you like, the ground rules between themselves over the political and military difficulties that they are going to face. shashank joshi is an associated fellow at the royal united services institute. and we shouldn't underestimate these difficulties, should we? >> not at all. you have for the first time in a long time the americans saying we would like to be on the side. we'll help you without with support facilities, refueling aircraft, but they don't want to use their offensive air power first. they would like the french and the british to do it. and the french and the british, in turn, would like to see the uae and qatar take up some of that slack. >> president obama yesterday specifically said that the u.s. role in this was leadership.
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and that is -- for regions he didn't want to see destabilize. how can that be? if they want leadership, how can they then want the europeans to take the lead? >> well, that's the issue, they absolutely don't want leadership. it's clear the signs coming out of america is they feel they've been pulled into this by the europeans, much as in kosovo in '99, they feel this is not their battle. they didn't see vital strategic interests at stake. >> the president specifically says yesterday, when he addresses, he says, you know, we cannot afford to see the region destabilize. we must continue to fight for the values that we hold dear. so he is putting forward american ideals and values. >> he certainly is. but if you had not had the arab league resolution of support for a no-fly zone, if you didn't have the uae step up and qatar step up and say, we will participate, it's clear the united states would not have thrown its weight behind that historic resolution two days ago. >> but now -- now the resolution
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has been passed, everybody is in this boat together. >> yes. although they will be keen to limit their exposure to the toxic effects that will follow if anything goes wrong. >> so we know there's no ground forces. >> absolutely not. and there's no appetite for any. >> and yet, as we're hearing from arwa damon, the attack, or an attack against benghazi is under way. >> absolutely. >> so the fig leaf of cease-fire from the deputy foreign minister. >> has completely crumbled. >> as fig leafs can't crumble but i take your point. so what happens now? >> the great difficulty is if these forces are on the edge or inside urban areas -- >> which is what arwa -- >> which is what we're suggesting. it is not as easy to hit them even with the most precise and advanced weaponry. you may need special forces on the ground targeting airplanes to make them avoid any hint of civilian casualties. >> is it your understanding, that you could have special
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forces that would come under 1973? >> 1973 does not allow a foreign occupation force. special forces can't occupy a country. it's been used in afghanistan, in kosovo, they will be used again. the issue is all gadhafi has to do is put a tank or artillery piece next to a hospital, a school, what happens then? >> what do you think happens? how does this play out, if you like, in the hours ahead? because after paris today, is it likely that they can cobble together agreement that would have, and i use the phrase advisedly, allied coalition forces, if you like, in the air today? >> today or tomorrow. but i think their credibility is now at stake. gadhafi has shown himself to be unlike to respect the fees fire, if there ever was any and he's now making a mockery of this coalition. he's in paris today, unless they act very shortly. so if you don't see agreement, i think you will see coordinated simply french and british action by itself occurring very, very soon. >> all right. thanks indeed. we'll be talking to you more about this as we get more developments. many thanks.
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now, new unrest in the arab world beyond libya. i'll tell you about that after a break. that is helping business rethink how to do business. ♪ in here, inventory can be taught to learn... so products get routed to where they're needed most. ♪ in here, machines have a voice... so they can tell headquarters when they need refilling. ♪ in here, money works smarter... so financial institutions can turn dreams into realities. in here, medical history is brought to life... so doctors can see a patient's medical records -- even if they're away from home. it's more than advanced technology. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities, creating and integrating solutions,
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helping business, and the rethink possible. japan is now reporting levels of radiation in some of the country's milk and spinach that exceed permissible levels. and the news comes while a diesel generator is powering a cooling system for reactor 5 and 6 of japan's crippled nuclear power plant. workers have drilled holes in the ceiling of the nuclear reactors to release explosive hydrogen gas and steam. other developments, friday japan raised the nuclear crisis level. however, the iaea says the situation did not actually worsen, despite that action. the strategy is to try to keep spraying water until electricity can be flowing to restart the
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reactor's own cooling water pumps. the engineers say they hope to have electricity flowing to some of the reactors by the end of saturday, and the rest by sunday night. cnn's anna coren is following the developments. she is with us now from tokyo. it is clearly a still very serious, grave crisis. but is there a feeling there that things have taken a turn for the better? >> richard, i think it's fair to say that there's a feeling that things have stabilized. and i think that is certainly encouraging. we know that the government has come out today and said that reactors 1, 2 and 3 have stabilized. they are happy, i guess you could say, with the water levels in those cooling tanks. and that is where those spent nuclear rods are, and they are the concern. so they need to be covered in water. otherwise they are emitting radioactive material.
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so, water levels are satisfactory, i guess you could say. but one official has come out and said, of course we know that the situation is unpredictable. you mentioned a little earlier that holes have been drilled in the ceilings of reactors 5 and 6. we also know that power is going to both those reactors because of a backup generator that was repaired. they were hoping to get the power lines connected to reactor 2. it has so far reached the substation. that is the report that we are receiving. it has yet to get to reactor 2. but if that does happen, it will be able to supply power to both reactors 1 and 2. and then hopefully later on reactors 3 and 4. if that power is restored, then they'll be able to get the pumps going, and as you say, that water, going into those pools. at the moment the water is coming from outside. from on the ground. those forces, those military, the police, the fire department, they are outside, in these fire trucks, 15 in total, of the
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trucks, being used to spray water. and then, of course, there is that super pumper that we mentioned a little earlier, and that is directly sucking water out of the ocean and then spraying it, via a 22-meter extended arm after one of these tankers directly into reactor 3. that reactor is still the number one priority. they need to keep that cool. that, of course, is where the hydrogen fire occurred. that is where that explosion took place. so they just need to continue cooling the situation from outside, but also from within. richard? >> and this report on milk and spinach that is contaminated, what are you hearing about that? >> the chief could be net secretary came out this afternoon, addressed the media, saying that they have found higher levels of radiation in milk and spinach, and of course that always sets off alarm bells
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when people hear that. he said that as far as milk, the source of that was some 30 kilometers from the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant. spinach was a little bit further out. but before we get carried away and become quite alarmed about the situation, we should note that you would have to drink a year's worth of milk for it to be the equivalent of undergoing a ct scan. that's how much radiation that you would take in. so, that is what we know at the moment. the government has launched a thorough investigation. because they want to know if other foods have been affected, where the sources are, and if so, that needs to be banned. let's have a listen to what the cabinet minister edano had to say a little earlier. >> in fukushima prefecture, the milk that is produced and spinach that is grown in ibaraki prefecture, the samples of these
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food products recorded radiation level that is over the limit stipulated in food safety law. >> now the chief cabinet secretary said that he cannot confirm whether those higher radiation levels were coming from the nuclear power plant. he said, there certainly was a high possibility. richard? >> anna coren, who is in tokyo this evening. not everyone in japan is so sure that officials are telling them the truth. and that, of course, breeds suspicion and fear. our senior international correspondent stan grand explains rumors and distrust are taking a deep psychological toll on the japanese people. >> reporter: a stricken nuclear plant, talk of meltdown, radiation leaking, fire and explosions, no wonder people are scared. this man survived the atomic
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bomb of nagasaki. he knows about nuclear fear and suspects people here are not getting the truth. the company is hiding information, he says. they're not telling the truth. he says radioactive substances are spewing out of the plant, but they're not coming clean about the dangers. some u.s. officials have even questioned the japanese government's radiation readings. each new crisis has officials here scrambling for answers. reassurances day after day that no one is at risk. >> radiation measurements has not been serious, serious enough as to have health effects. although some readings are high, but these values are not the ones that pose direct human threat today. but this all depends on other conditions. environmental monitoring conditions.
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>> reporter: to critics the official response is often too little and too late. beyond the mistrust is often misinformation. dan pulanski specializes in wep bes of mass destruction and knows about radiation. he says science and fact get lost in panic, radio phobia. >> people hear that word radiation and immediately think of the worst case scenario, that they're going to -- >> reporter: we're going to die. >> we're all going to turn to toxic avenger and start mutating. >> reporter: fact, fukushima is no chernobyl. not yet, anyway. in the soviet reactor, workers died within weeks. in the final phase of that disaster, radiation hit levels of 6,000 millisieverts an hour. in the daiichi peak has been 400 millisieverts an hour and that's at the red-hot center of the plant itself. nuclear industry figures show you need more than double that before you get radiation sickness. even for the heroic workers, prolonged exposure, says dan, could make them sick. but not kill. >> sounds scary, 400.
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is it? >> no. it's not -- it sounds scary but it's not. >> reporter: and here's another thing. radiation levels peak and drop within minutes, and depend on the distance from the hot zone. imagine this intersection is the perimeter of the daiichi nuclear plant. i'm standing here at one of the reactor sites, i get a high radiation reading, crossing to the other side to the front gates, 30, 40 meters away, according to the official readings, it could be significantly lower. but that all depends on the quality of information. information people simply often don't trust in the face of crisis, fact whispers, and fear screams. stan grant, cnn, tokyo. >> whether it is in japan, or in libya, because the news never stops. this is cnn. [ male announcer ] 95% of all americans aren't getting enough whole grain. but actually, it's never been easier to get the whole grain you want from your favorite big g cereals. from cheerios to lucky charms, there's whole grain in every box.
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